Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Texas Book Festival


Back in July, I received word that Went Out To Get a Donut - Came Home With a Muffin had won First Place, Picture Book Children 7 and Under by the Texas Association of Authors . While that is really cool, I also found out that the TAA would have a booth at the Texas Book Festival in Austin and I could attend!

So on Friday, October 25, I came home from school and got all dressed up to head to Austin, TX for the awards dinner. Though I was thoroughly excited .... Muffin looked deeply heartbroken that I was leaving her for the weekend! Even though it was her book that was winning the AWARD! The drive to Austin was crazy -- traffic was horrendous as we neared Baylor and then the traffic stopped for a while because of an accident - I felt as if we weren't ever going to make it! Our GPS first said we'd get there at 6:30pm ... 30 minutes early ... but after all the snafus, we got  there fashionably late -- 7:25pm - just in time for dinner!

We ate dinner (lasagna and salad) and it was then time for the awards!
 My friend Patty Wiseman won TAA 2013
Romance - An Unlikely Beginning
a romantic, historical suspense
CONGRATS Patty!!!!
Visit Patty on FB at Patty Wiseman on FB
or her FanPage on FB at Patty Wiseman - Fan Page
After a great dinner and catching up with friends and a
glass of wine, Steven and I headed to the hotel to rest up for
The Texas Book Festival!
Below - some sights from the festival.

A better title -- C R A S H!  lol!
Not a big seller ...
This cutie is a service dog (she is a READING BUDDY)
She was going to read with some children in the children as authors tent
Saturday morning - in the TAA Booth
After a couple hours in the booth, Steven and I took a stroll around
the Capital - and what is a walk without taking pics of cool trees!
Steven loved this tree!

I loved the tree in the middle - it looks like it's raising it's arms up!
I also liked the kids having FUN rolling down the hill!!
Kids doing a good old fashioned thing!
After a successful day at the Festival, Steven & I met up with
Mr. Jon Whitney. He was one of my very first bosses.
I worked for his Market Research Firm while on the work study
program in High School - he got me my start on one of the FIRST
home computers -- the TRS-80 - 5-1/4 floppy disks with that
wonderful DAISY WHEEL PRINTER ... and the rest is history!
We had a yummy dinner and lots of catching up at the Magnolia Café in Austin.
 The FAMOUS Texas Waffle
                                                                       from the LaQuinta - Sunday Morning
Mommy - please come home!
The picture Ashley sent me on Sunday morning

 My table on Day 2

My very supportive husband and me!
 I had a really awesome time at The Texas Book Festival
I did NOT see Laura Bush .... but I did meet a fan named
David who has commissioned me to write a special book for his wife.
I'm extremely honored that he has chosen me for this project.
I'm now keeping my fingers crossed that I make it into the San Antonio Book Festival for 2014!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Austin, TX ...

here I come!

Before I was a published author, I thought it would be so cool to visit The Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX. I'm now counting down the hours before I get to be there and be a part of the festival. Earlier this year, Went Out To Get a Donut, Came Home With a Muffin won first place 7 and under from The Texas Association of Authors.
After winning, I found out that I would get to have my book at the Texas Book Festival, represented in the TAA booth! I can't wait to see all the books and authors, meet some new fans and hopefully sell some books! While there, I'll get to see my boss from the work study job I had in High School -- Jon Whitney! Looking forward to catching up and having lunch on Saturday! I'll also be trying to see if I can get a picture of Laura Bush ... that would be really cool.

If you are in the Austin area, I hope you stop on by and say HI ... I will share pictures when I get back!
Booth #301 - Texas Association of Authors
 Colorado Street
Austin, TX
Saturday, October 26 - I will be in the booth from 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Sunday, October 27 - I will be in the booth from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
I will be selling and autographing ALL of my children's books.
I haven't been to Duncan in a few years ... looking forward to seeing my dear author friend
Stephen Bagley who I've know for about 5 years now and had the pleasure of interviewing for my blog a few weeks ago. I'll also be a part of the special story time for this event!!
Saturday - November 2
Author Day
Duncan Public Library

2211 N. Hwy 81
Duncan, Oklahoma
10 am to 1 p.m.
I will be reading/singing my book at 11:00am during their
Special Story time at this event
Helping to BEAT Cancer is very near and dear to me (and Muffin)! This is the first year for Muffin and I to be a part of the Bark for Life Event and I am looking forward to hanging with Muffin, doing a story time and helping to raise some money for Cancer research! If you're in the Fort Worth, TX area -- come on out and join us!

Sunday - November 3
Bark for Life
Coyote Drive - In Theater
223 NE 4th Street
Fort Worth, TX
11am - 3pm
or visit the Bark for Life FB page by clicking below

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Unwanted guest ....

The beauty of living in Texas is crisp autumn days like today -- left for work and it was about 50 degrees, a bit chilly but felt refreshing .... coming home from work it was 86 degrees, sunny; one of those days you enjoy being outside! But, one of the crazy things about living in Texas is sometimes having an unwanted guest visit your house; we have been visited by little lizards, big lizards, June bugs, and a few weeks ago I had a Praying Mantis visit me in the breakfast nook!  About 30 minutes ago I really had something visit me that freaked me out a bit!

I was chatting on the phone with my mom and walked into the bathroom to go through to the closet to put some things away and all of a sudden something lunged at my foot! I said to my mom "gotta go -- there's a SNAKE in my bathroom!" YEP ... he was a little over a foot long and feisty! He lunged at me for no REASON! Since I love watching shows on Animal Planet, History and Discovery, I felt I have acquired skills from watching these shows to try wrangling him up! So I slowly opened the closet door got out a cardboard box that I had stored and a grabbed a plain old wire hanger. I put the hanger down toward the snake and he climbed on. I then put the hanger in the box and wiggled it a bit and he fell right into the box. TADA!

I sure hope he stays outside tonight! He is now in the front garden and hopefully he has a good night of sleep or catching bugs or finds his way into someone else's home! He better have learned his lesson not MESS WITH ME!


Crawling up the side of the box!
I better get him outside ... he really was feisty!
This is wear slithery snakes belong -- in the GARDEN!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kicking off the Holidays ...

Woke up this morning and it was 43 degrees outside. For those of you that don't know ... that's perfect Christmas Shopping weather in Texas! So, we loaded up the car and headed to Saginaw H.S. for the Starstepper Craft Show. This show had 70+ vendors selling everything from cupcakes, soap, cotton candy, tutu's, jewelry, clothes, purses, and holiday items GALORE. This show kicks off the holiday season for me and it was a great day of selling books and the few other items I had at my table.

I met a little girl who was looking for items
for an auction that she will be having to help pay
for her Service Dog. She has diabetes and the dog will alert them day or night if her levels are ever to low. I donated to her cause and told her to contact me when her on-line auction is set -- I'll let you all know just in case there are items you may want to bid on!

My books are going to "the twinkies" who will be born in January,
a special education classroom, a little girl who is 4 and told me she ABSOLUTELY LOVES DOGS & BOOKS!, an artist, and a few grandchildren. I love hearing who will get my books and why.

I met many people and had a great day talking and sharing stories with the Holiday Shoppers!

I'm obsessed with TREES ....
And today I found my second piece of original artwork that I fell in love with.
I wanted to add it to my Christmas list, but Steven told me to just BUY IT!
The tree on the right is now mine!
Do you see the image in the tree?
I did forget to ask Dana what is the name of the piece, so I need to make sure to find that out!
If you'd like to check out other artwork by Dana Lynch (click below)
When Steven arrives at a craft show, you know it's almost over and time to pack up.
The Starstepper girls did not know what they were getting into!
They were there to help people carry things to their cars. They innocently asked Steven "Can we help you with anything?"
And Steven, being Steven said, "my sciatica is acting up!"
I burst out laughing, the ladies in the next booth burst out laughing, and the girls had a blank look!
(I took this picture right as Steven was answering them!)
At first, they did not know he was joking! Then - they got it! Men at craft shows!
YAY!! Cotton Candy!

How would I look with a PINK moustache & beard?

Please stop taking pictures so I can eat!!!!

YUM!!!! I watched people walking around eating cotton candy
all day long ... the booth was 3 away from me ... it was $1.00!
Thanks Saginaw H.S. for hosting another awesome
Holiday Craft Fair!
See you next year!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October Events

Here are a few upcoming events ....

Saginaw High School - Rough Rider Craft Show
Saginaw H.S.
800 N. Blue Mound Road
Saginaw, TX
Saturday, October 19, 2013
9am - 4pm
This is a great event to kick-off the HOLIDAY shopping season!
Come on out and support Saginaw High School
I will have books, neck-t's, walking sticks & puppy quilts
Booth #301 - Colorado Street
Austin, TX
Saturday, October 26 - I will be in the booth from 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Sunday, October 27 - I will be in the booth from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Click here to get a list of ALL PARTICIPATING AUTHORS
I will be selling and autographing ALL of my children's books.
If you are in the Austin area and would like to attend the AUTHOR'S  DINNER that proceeds the Texas Book Festival please read on
PRESS RELEASESeptember 20, 2013


Texas Association of Authors (TAA)
(512) 554-9560

Celebration of Authors Dinner

Austin – Texas is a state full of rich history, geographical beauty and wonderful citizens, it is no wonder then that it is home to one of the largest community of authors. Texas Association of Authors, has been diligently working on helping authors receive notice to their rich and full collection of books that covers as many genre's as there is, and even creating some new ones along the way.

TAA's second annual Celebration of Authors dinner and fund raiser will be held on October 25, 2013 from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Water 2 Wine Custom Winery. This event celebrates this years book contest winners and the joy of writing. The October gala event proceeds the Texas Book Festival, which takes place on the 26th and 27th.

TAA is an Austin based non profit founded in 2011 with the purpose of helping Texas authors gain local and global readers by showcasing their work at events and assisting them in becoming top-tier authors. Through their platform they also help authors improve their craft and better market their completed works. Additionally, the company celebrates their accomplishments at events such as the Celebration of Authors.

The honorees represent the winners of the second Annual Texas Association of Authors Book Awards.

The public is encouraged to come to Celebration of Authors at 7 PM when wine and non-alcoholic drinks will be served at 7:00PM, with dinner at 8:00PM. During this time, people will be able to meet a large number of authors from around the state. A ticket for the event is required and can be purchased at: http://txauthors.com/store/page44.html 

While TAA and its members celebrate the winners, they also recognize an authors hard work at creating exceptional books. In addition, the event gives a nod to their spouses and partners for helping support their literary endeavors.

Water 2 Wine is a winery located at 3300 West Anderson Lane, #304, (at the corner of Anderson & Mopac), Austin 78757 in Shoal Creek Plaza.

Texas Assoc. of Authors is a 60 member strong organization of Texas Authors. You can contact TAA at TxAuthors@live.com, or call them at (512) 554-9560.
Looking forward to both of these events and hope some of you may be able to attend!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Interview with Stephen B. Bagley


1)  Can you tell us a little about yourself? 
Stephen B. Bagley
SBB:  I've published four books and one chapbook of poetry. I happily live in Oklahoma. I graduated from Oklahoma State University. I’m the president of my local writers group and a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. I'm a professional writer. And I like ice cream and long walks on the beach with my loved one ... ah, no, not really. I'm diabetic so I rarely eat ice cream, and I've never taken a long walk on a beach with a loved one. How about this? I'm rarely serious unless I am.

2)  What is your favorite thing to write about?
SBB: Hard to say. I write mysteries, humor, poetry, nonfiction, inspirational fiction, and urban fantasy. I have many interests. I like reading mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, techno-thrillers, and nonfiction.

3)  You have published poetry. That is a different kind of writing. What inspires you to write poetry?
SBB: Poetry is my first love. I have poems from when I was eight years old. I love words and working with words. I've always believed – to quote Jean Kerr – that poetry is a shortcut to emotional truth, not the long way around.

4)  Where is the craziest place you were when you got a book idea in your head?
SBB: I can’t think of anywhere crazy. I’m a professional writer so I spend most of my time at my desk. And when I’m away from it, I try not to focus on my writing. Writing will consume me if I let it.

5)  Tell us about your newest book.
SBB: Just out are Tales from Bethlehem and Murder by the Acre (Second Edition). Tales is a novel that tells the interconnected stories of people who either were or could have been at the Nativity. MBTA(SE) is a re-release of an earlier publication with a better cover and minor content changes. It's the second book in the Measurements of Murder(™) series and is a traditional "cozy" mystery with -- I hope -- a good amount of humor and suspense. Even some romance.

6)  When writing a series, do you ever get lost as to what is going on with the characters?
SBB: Not really. When I’m in a book, I’m living in that world. So those people are real to me. Between books, yes, I lose track. I re-read the previous books before I start a new one in series, and I also have a character and plot bible where I track the people in the book.

7)  Do you enjoy writing Blog posts?
SBB: Sometimes. Depends on my mood. It’s a fine line between keeping in touch with my readers and giving enough time to my writing.

8) How can we purchase your books?
SBB: The books are all available on Amazon and other retailers and can also be ordered by your local bookstore if they don’t have them on their shelves, which is what I suggest. Buy local when you can. Readers can also visit my website and blog The Books of StephenBBagley. I have links to various retailers along with sample chapters.

9) What will your next book or series be about? 
SBB: In 2014, I should have three books: Murder by the Mile, the third book in the Measurements of Murder™ series; A Little Floozy, the second collection of my humor from various newspapers, magazines, and websites;  and Undying: Poems of Fantasy and Science Fiction, a book of themed poems. It's going to be a busy year, I hope.

10) Anything else you'd like to tell us?
SBB: I don’t think so. I appreciate Laura taking the time and sharing her blog with me!

You are VERY welcome Stephen! I have read three of Stephen's works - EndlesS, FLOOZY And Other Stories, and Tales From Bethlehem ... all are very different and WILL NOT disappoint! While reading FLOOZY I would bust out laughing! And Tales From Bethlehem was so entertaining I felt as if I was at the stable! I enjoyed the story of Jesus' birth from different perspectives ... loved it!

Thanks for taking the time to take over my BLOG!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Independent bookstores are wonderful, and if you are ever in Roanoke, TX, you must visit The Book Carriage and Coffee Shop. They have a wonderful selection of unique books and the store has a comfortable loft to curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee and just relax! They have a grand front porch too-I plan on visiting them next summer, just to "get away"!           


The skies became a little dark when I arrived at the Book Carriage, but that didn't dampen the children's spirits who came inside for story time! I was able to do two readings. For the first reading we rounded up LOTS of kids and had all the chairs filled, kids were sitting on the stairs to the loft and people were standing in the coffee shop listening! The second reading was a bit more quaint - 3 children a few parents! But, it was a lot of fun! Craft, Food & Children's Game Booths lined Historic Oak Street!

 I wish I had shelves like this!
 Explaining who Muffin is.
Talking about Muffin's first book!
What's in the corner?
Is it a black and yellow BUMBLBEE?
Going to give her a HIGH FIVE for
getting the RHYME!!!!  :)
Couldn't make it to CELEBRATE ROANOKE? The kids enjoyed What's In the Corner? A Muffin "Tail" and asked me to read another book, so I read Went Out To Get a Donut
Steven took some video -- so click on the LINK below if you'd like to see me in action!
What kid in Texas wouldn't want this set up
for their birthday party!
A "pretend" rodeo
This is soooooooooooooo cool!
Loved this .... this is when I miss not
having a little kid!
inviting me to your Author Event during CELEBRATE ROANOKE!
I had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bruce Shulkey School Visit

Today I was lucky enough to travel on I20 to Bruce Shulkey Elementary School for their Career Day.

On the way home I realized that I was so BUSY through the day that I forgot to ask one of the teachers to snap some pictures of me talking to the kids. Hopefully I will get some forwarded to me from the school and can add them later .... BUT ... I do have a few shots to share with you. I arrived nice and early and received my Visitor Badge, from Michelle Harris the Counselor and Coordinator of the event. She took me to the Library, where I received my schedule.

As you can see .... my day was packed!!!! The 5th graders came in with questions for a project they are working on. I love sharing with them the writing process and I truly hope I was able to inspire a few to get out there and keep writing. I always enjoy the kids who hold back at the end of the presentation to ask me a question or tell me about something they are working on. Those moments are really cool. There's always a couple kids in each group that do that or ask me to autograph their notebook or a small piece of paper, that truly makes me feel blessed to be able to do what I love.

Lunch was really good, one of the teachers made BBQ, potato salad and beans. There were TONS of desserts available too -- I held back and had a little BBQ (which was wonderful!) and some potato salad which also was really creamy and good!  YUMMO!!!!!

Another great Fort Worth School Library

Here is my area and, I actually sat in the chair this time.
This certificate was given to me ... very nice touch!
I had a wonderful day and enjoyed each group ....
I hope they had half as much fun as I did.
If your school is interested in having me come speak for Career Day or for your Literacy Night, please contact me at  thelifeofbud@aol.com